How long for a rooster to become butchering size?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by stone_family3, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2011
    Looking at the fry pan bargain from Meyer hatchery, they said that they offer the following breeds: Golden Buff, Rhode Island Red, Black Star, Black Jersey Giant, Salmon Faverolles, Speckled Sussex, Cuckoo Maran, Welsummer, Black Australorp, Barred Plymouth Rock, White Plymouth Rock, Buff Orpington, Silver Laced Wyandotte, Buckeye, Golden Laced Wyandotte, and Dominique.

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]My dad wants me to raise a few birds for him this year and I'd like to raise something other than Cornish X. So I was wondering how long till a basic roo take to mature to eating size. [/FONT]
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    I have opinions about the fry pan specials hatcheries offer. I can appreciate the need for hatcheries to utilize the males of primarily egg-laying breeds. I think the fate of most male birds is usually sealed by being born a male. So, selling them is a good option. However, I sometimes think that hatcheries don't do a good job of explaining just what the customer is purchasing. The development of the Cornish X as THE meat bird in America kind of changed the rules when it comes to chickens. While many of the breeds in the fry pan list were and still are utilized for meat, I would say that 99.99% of people have tasted nothing but Cornish X and the fry pan breeds just don't taste the same. They don't taste bad - in fact I love the taste - but it is not what most people expect. They take longer to get to butchering size, they will never be as big, and have a different taste and texture. Again, my only complaint with the specials is that info is often unknown to the new raiser/consumer who might think chicken is chicken. Of course, part of this responsibility falls on the customer. Before BYC I kind of winged my way through chicken ownership - making plenty of mistakes along the way. And I know a couple of people who gave up raising chickens who started with the fry pan special and found they "tasted terrible." Of course, they don't taste terrible - just different. I will fry up a few of the young roosters and the rest I pressure can for winter - very handy! So, just my humble opinion.
  3. DraigAthar

    DraigAthar Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2011
    Plainfield, NH
    Most heritage breeds take a minimum of 20 weeks to reach slaughter size. I raise Dominiqes, and I find that between 22 and 26 weeks is about ideal for my roosters. At 20 weeks they are still a tad scrawny. I've read that with the Jersey Giants, if you want a nice big meat bird you should give them at least 26 weeks. But I've never raised that breed so I can't speak from experience on those. Some of the other breeds might be ready sooner. I have a Salmon Faverolle hen, and while I did not raise her for meat, I remember when she was growing she seemed to put weight on a lot faster than the other chicks. So you'll find a lot of natural variation.
  4. tater1961

    tater1961 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 27, 2012
    JOCO, KS
    redsox is right. Different taste , different texture. But that is how real chicken tastes. By the way I butchered my extra Black Australorps between 16 - 18 weeks.
  5. DraigAthar

    DraigAthar Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2011
    Plainfield, NH
    Yep, and I much prefer real chicken! But I can also understand how people who have never tasted anything other than grocery store chicken would find it a little odd.
  6. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2011
    I don't think my dad will mind, I personally hated raising the cornish X chickens. They were greasy feeling IMO they got bald and just seemed kind of gross. I was also thinking of trying freedom rangers, but I can only order them through the mail and in quantities of 25, my dad only wants about 5 birds.

    Problem is I'm in the city and I'm not supposed to have roos, so if they start crowing I'll have to get rid of them. Guess I might just be stick with cornish crosses.

    Thanks for all the advice.
  7. Mingming

    Mingming Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2012
    Maybe put an add on Craigslist and see if someone in your area wants to split an order!
  8. jenhippiechic

    jenhippiechic Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 30, 2012
    Well I just rescued 20 fry pan bargain chicks from someone who got them as a gag gift. I have wanted to learn I butcher so here is my opportunity I suppose!
  9. ellandeeranch

    ellandeeranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 17, 2012
    Once I read this, I understood a lot more. It's been posted a lot here on BYC in different places.

    I like to process at about 16 weeks for my NH's. Today, though, I ate some 10-week Leghorn that was just delicious.

    That article taught me that you can process at most any age, but will cook differently in each case, and produce a different sort of meal.

  10. Alex818

    Alex818 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 19, 2013
    Tujunga, CA
    I'm a bit confused. I just picked up some fertile eggs from a local ranch and I'm planning on hatching and raising the birds for meat for the first time. Several threads that I've been reading seem to suggest that people prefer to butcher their chickens between 10 and 12 weeks and no later than 14 weeks (I'm not sure if they meant both roosters and hens). Should I be waiting longer?

    The person who I bought the eggs from said that they were from Jersey Giants, Barred Rock, and Rhode Island Reds.

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